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Horror film trailer research

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  • 1. Conventions of horror film trailers
  • 2. The two horror trailers I have researched in great detail are...‘The woman in black’ (2012)‘The devil inside’ (2012)
  • 3. ‘The devil inside’ The production company logos are commonly placed at the beginning of the trailers, which I found in my initial research. However, I have found that in horror films alot of the production‘The woman in black’ titles are presented in a way that relates to the genre, such as these two which are both dark and gloomy, having connotations of death, darkness and horror.
  • 4. Lighting: ‘The devil inside’ The lighting in this trailer is very dark, for example in this shot night vision is used to create a spooky effect, such as the woman’s ‘negative’ effect eyes which may represent how she is possessed in the film and therefore her empty eyes may show how she is ‘not really there.’
  • 5. Lighting: ‘The woman in black’ Alot of the shots in this trailer are also very dark like ‘The devil inside.’ This represents the foreboding events in the film. The use of firelight is also used, which adds a sinister twist to the shot. Although I cannot use fire on this scale, I would like to experiment with candle light to create a different effect in my trailer.
  • 6. Mise-en-scene: Make-up (The devil inside) To highlight how this character is possessed, as well as probably not sleeping and malnourished, she has heavy, brown/purple make up under her eyes which makes her look spookier. This will also raise enigmas as to why she has these shadows, and add to the effect of her being possessed. She has no other make-up on which makes her look very unwell, as well as having matted, untamed hair which indicates she is not looking after her appearance. Other enigmas in this shot raised could be why is she in the grotty, white tiled room and wearing what looks like hospital clothing?
  • 7. Mise-en-scene: Make-up (The woman in black) Like ‘The devil inside,’ Daniel Radcliffe has been given dark bags under his eyes, which suggests something has been troubling him and stopping him from sleeping. This is an enigma code as the audience will wonder what this could be. His dark clothing as well as the dark location add to the foreboding atmosphere, suggesting something may be wrong.
  • 8. Shots: ‘The devil inside’ This establishing shot of a silhouette of a building is very foreboding due to the fact it is shot at night. Conventionally, scenes in horror films containing scary events are intensified by being shot at night, as alot of people are scared of the dark. The dark represents things being hidden in the shadows as well as dark thoughts and events. This shot suggests something sinister may take place in this building.
  • 9. ‘The devil inside’ A handheld shot is used here in the trailer to build suspense, as the camera man runs quickly focusing the camera on the characters’ face. His troubled expression suggests something is wrong, and so does the rushed effect of the handheld camera. The dark lighting also makes the shot spookier.
  • 10. Shots: ‘The woman in black’ This establishing shot is taken from an extreme long angle, which suggests that it is of great importance in the film. The foggy atmosphere and dead bushes give the impression the property is isolated and abandoned. This location is a conventional location for a horror film, as it looks haunted and spooky.
  • 11. ‘The woman in black’ These extreme-close-up shots intend to scare the audience. The innocent children’s toys are all things associated with people’s fears, for example clowns and china dolls. The fear that they could be watching you and the intensity of the extreme-closeness intends to make the audience feel uncomfortable. However, in the trailer all of these are moving in a way that seems uncontrollable suggesting they are alive. However, due to the thick dust around each object it may scare the audience, as surely if they had been abandoned for so long, the batteries would not be working? These enigmas intend to make the audiences’ minds run wild and think up many scenarios which will scare them.
  • 12. ‘The devil inside’ The mise-en-scene in this shot relates to the genre of horror due to the blood, and raises enigmas, as the audience will wonder how the woman got these cuts and why they are in a strange formation on her arm.
  • 13. ‘The woman in black’ Like the previous shot, blood is used in this shot which relates to the horror genre. However, as a victim is not visible the audience are left to wonder who the blood belongs to. The words ‘you could have saved him’ also raise enigmas as to who ‘he’ is and why the message is on the wall. The darkness of the shot creates a foreboding atmosphere and the fact that in the left frame of the shot the moving monkey toy is visible relates to the idea that the character is being watched, raising more enigmas.
  • 14. Titles – ‘The devil inside’ The colours in the titles link to some of the themes of the film. For example, the harsh white in the centre frame may remind audiences of hospitals, and from the narrative in the trailer we can see that the woman is in hospital. However the fact that the frame becomes darker towards the outside of the frame may represent the dark events that occur in the film. The brown cross shapes are identical to the bloody scratches the woman had on her arm in the close-up shot suggesting this enigma code is significant throughout the film.
  • 15. ‘The devil inside’ The words ‘coming soon’ are used to tease the audience as a release date has obviously not been set yet, meaning they will have to wait for the film to come out. This prolongs the build up to the release of the film to build excitement and give audiences time to suggest the trailer to their friends and raise awareness. The fact that the email address is also on the bottom allows the audience to learn more about the film from the official website which will give them more information.
  • 16. Titles – ‘The woman in black’ The window in this shot links to the shots of the house, which is the primary location in the trailer. However, you are usually able to see through a window, whereas this one is translucent which suggests that something is being concealed. This raises enigmas. If you look carefully a black figure is visible behind the window which is quite spooky but will raise enigmas as to what it is. This title also includes the website for the film and the words ‘coming soon’ which serve the same purpose as ‘the devil inside.’ I will be using these features in my film trailer as they are conventional based on